Justine, 38, believed her reliable fiance was a doting stay-at-home dad, so why was he telling other women he was a professional fighter competing in Russia?
By Helen O’Brien Google
My heart pounded as I dialled Stephen’s mobile number.
My period was late, and the pregnancy test I’d just done had come back positive. I was dying to tell him.
I already had two teenage daughters from a previous relationship, and it was strange to think about looking after a tiny baby again.
But I was excited, Stephen was fantastic with my girls and they adored him. I just knew he would be a great dad.
We had only been together for eight months, but I was completely head over heels for him.
I met Stephen in August 2011 through on online dating website and had been instantly attracted to him.
He was tall and good-looking, but he was also really sweet and caring.
His loving nature made me feel safe, and things moved quickly.
After just four months together, on Christmas Day, Stephen gave me the best present I could ever have dreamed of as he pulled out a ring.
He said: “I know it’s soon, but I love you, will you marry me?”
“Of course!” I squealed. “Nothing would make me happier.”
I had never been more sure about anything – he was perfect and I knew we would always be happy together.
So when I found out I was going to have his baby, I was over the moon – and so was he.
He said: “That’s fantastic news, I can’t wait to be a dad!”
I was delighted that he shared my excitement. But I was also nervous about how my two girls would react – it was very soon after all.
But Stephen was there by my side as we broke the news to Courtnay, now 15, and Jordan, now 14, and they were just as overjoyed about it as we were.
When our baby boy, Jay, was born in January 2013 there were tears of joy in Stephen’s eyes.
He was beautiful and I was over the moon.
Stephen had struggled to get a job, so we agreed that I would return to work and he would be the stay-at-home parent.
I thought he would find it tough, but life was perfect.
Stephen absolutely adored Jay and he was also a great father figure to my two girls.
We were a proper little family and I felt like the luckiest woman on the planet to have such a dependable man.
But then, when Jay was just four months, my sister Cherie bowled me over with a shocking discovery.
She had been using Stephen’s phone to make a call and stumbled across pictures of his private parts that he had sent to another woman.
Stephen and I were so happy together and he had always seemed so dependable.
I was devastated… and furious.
“How do you explain this?” I yelled at him.
With the evidence in plain sight he confessed that he had been messaging this woman and exchanging pictures.
He told me he had been looking for an escape from the pressures of parenthood, but that it had gone no further than the messages.
He begged me for another chance and said he would put a stop to it
But I was too hurt. He had shattered my trust and I was terrified of being betrayed again.
I asked him to leave so I could think about what I wanted, but within a few weeks he had won me round again.
He said: “I promise nothing like this will ever happen again, I don’t want to lose you.”
I still loved Stephen and we had just found out I was pregnant again, so I decided to give him another chance.
True to his word, Stephen put 110 percent into our relationship.
He was the perfect dad and he helped out around the house while I was at work. I couldn’t have asked for more.
His main priority was to make sure me and the kids were happy, and he was always arranging family days out.
Things were really back on track between us and I soon forgot about his slip up. Instead, we were excited for our new arrival.
In February 2014 we welcomed our gorgeous little girl Rivva into the world
She was a little angel and we were so pleased to have one of each.
As we watched her sleep, Stephen whispered to me: “She’s perfect, I can’t believe how lucky we are.”
As I looked up at him I knew he was right, and I thanked my lucky stars that I had given our relationship another chance.
But just eight weeks later my world came crashing down.
I came home from work to find my daughter Courtnay in floods of tears.
She said: “I hate to tell you this Mum, but something’s going on with Stephen.
“He’s been messaging other women.”
My blood boiled as the memory of those dirty pictures came flooding back. Rat!
Courtnay adored Stephen, she even called him Dad. So I was furious that she had been dragged into his sordid life.
But the messages weren’t what I expected…
I stared in bewilderment at the Facebook messages he had left open on his iPad.
I’ve been in trouble with the old bill for fighting… I’m off to Russia to enter a UFC competition… I won the competition but I broke my leg…
My Stephen was a stay-at-home dad, but here he was telling several other women that he was fighting in competitions in Russia.
Who was this fantastist I was living with?
It made no sense, I couldn’t understand why he would pretend to be someone else.
But then my confusion turned to anger as I continued to read his messages.
I’m bored… My misses is in bed… I was well up for it tonight but she’s sleeping again…
I was working hard to provide for us and our babies while he sat at home telling other women that I wouldn’t sleep with him – I saw red.
I called him up straight away and we had a blazing row over the phone.
Stephen told me that he had never expected parenthood to be so hard.
He even had the cheek to admit that sometimes he wished he had a different and more exciting life.
That’s why he’d created this fantasy of being a martial arts champion.
I was devastated that he could feel that way about me and our beautiful children. What could be more perfect than life with our little angels?
I told him not to come home that night and in my rage I threw all his stuff out into the garden.
By the morning I had calmed down and I expected to hear grovelling apologies from Stephen.
What he had done was upsetting, but I knew we could get past it if we talked it through.
We had an eight week baby and we were engaged after all – I had even picked out my wedding dress.
I was sure that we would kiss and make up as soon as he came home.
Only the apologies never came.
I didn’t hear from him for two days and then my friend sent me a text with a picture – she had seen Stephen out at a cafe with another woman.
Livid, I called him again and demanded to know what was going on.
He said he thought we had split up and had been talking to this woman and meeting up with her.
He insisted that nothing more had happened between them, but I had heard enough so I ended it there and then.
We’ve now split up for good – I feel like I don’t even know him anymore and I know I can never trust him again after uncovering his web of lies.
I can’t believe that the father of my two little babies could walk out on me so easily, but I’ll never take him back.
I know I’m better off without him and his dreamland of fighting fantasies.
Stephen Davis, 28, says: “I know I done the stupid thing with Facebook. It wasn’t an escape, it was just I said a few things which I shouldn’t have done and I know that’s my mistake. I was talking to a few people but I didn’t go with anyone. I didn’t leave Justine, I went out and she told me not to come back. While I was out all my stuff was chucked out. By rights, if all my stuff is outside then it’s over.”
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